Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

A Muslim Taqiyyist Helps Expose Shabir Ally’s Deceit

Sam Shamoun

In our previous discussion we demonstrated that, contrary to Ally’s assertion, there is no discrepancy between Paul’s view of the Law of Moses in his own inspired writings with Luke’s portray in the book of Acts. As we established, Paul’s letters show that he was concerned with certain Jews who were trying to persuade the Gentile believers that they needed to get circumcised in accord with the Law of Moses in order to be saved and justified. These Jews believed that trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ wasn’t enough to obtain salvation and justification. We also showed that Paul wasn’t against observing the Law of Moses, provided that the person doing so knew that salvation does not come from obedience to the Law, but rather comes through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and is therefore a free gift which is received through faith alone. We even proved that Paul himself kept the Law of Moses since, as an ethnic Jew, he was expected to continue observing the commands of God given through Moses along with the other Jewish believers in Jesus, such as circumcision, yet not for the purpose of obtaining salvation but as a means of their sanctification, since the Lord had called them to live holy and obedient lives now that they had been delivered from the power of sin and Satan.

What makes this truly remarkable is that Paul Bilal Williams has posted one of Shabir Ally’s booklets where Ally himself basically agrees with our position! In one of the chapters Ally argues that Gentiles were not obligated to keep the Law of Moses, even though Jewish believers had to do so. Note what Ally says:

The earliest followers of Jesus had to decide whether or not to impose circumcision on Gentiles who wished to follow Jesus. After some deliberation, they ruled that circumcision was not to be imposed on such Gentile converts (Acts 15: 19-20). Notice that they did not issue this instruction for Jewish believers but for Gentiles only. They were satisfied that the Torah is read every Sabbath in the synagogues and thus the Jewish followers are reminded of the Torah obligations. (Acts 15:21)

Yet this is often misunderstood. One Bible study help incorrectly states that this instruction was given to both Jews and Gentiles. It says:

“The necessary things for Gentiles and Jews alike did not include circumcision.” (Insight on the Scriptures, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, vol. 1, p. 470)

However, the Bible shows that the “necessary things” were listed for the Gentiles only, whereas the Jewish followers of Jesus had to keep the whole Torah except for what Jesus had specifically cancelled. THIS IS WHY JAMES (the brother of Jesus) SAID:

“Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood.” (Acts 15:19-20)

In the above quote James specifically said that this is FOR THE GENTILES ONLY, so as not to make it difficult for them to convert. Again, when the instruction was formally issued, it was written in a letter addressed specifically to Gentiles (Acts 15:23). Again, James clarified later that this instruction was “for the Gentile believers” (Acts 21:25). Jewish believers were still expected to live “in obedience to the law” (Acts 21:24). The law, as we have seen, includes circumcision, and Jesus also confirmed it.

In fact, Jesus himself was circumcised (see Luke 2:21). If circumcision was not a good thing, as some people think, Jesus’ mother would never have agreed to it.

It should not be forgotten that when the original disciples of Jesus ruled that Gentiles are not required to circumcise they never denied that circumcision is good practice. They themselves kept observing the practice.

Nor did they say that Gentiles should not circumcise. Gentiles can circumcise, ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR ENTERING THE FAITH. (Shabir Ally, What God said about eating pork and issues for Muslim/Christian dialogue, Chapter 6. What Jesus said About Circumcision; bold and capital emphasis ours)

In our discussion we issued the following challenges to Ally, as well as Williams:

With that said, we now issue the following challenges to Ally. We want him to produce a single statement from Paul’s writings where this blessed and holy servant of Christ instructed ethnic Jews who had turned to Christ to set aside commands such as circumcision, Sabbath observance, dietary restrictions etc. We further challenge him to quote Paul telling Gentiles who believed in the Gospel that they shouldn’t get circumcised, observe Sabbath etc., once they understood that these practices do not save or justify them. In other words, we want Ally to provide evidence that Paul would have had a problem with Gentiles who understood that they were not saved by the works of the Law, but by the grace of the Lord Jesus which they received as a gift through faith in him, going ahead and observing specific OT instructions such as circumcision, dietary restrictions etc. If Ally can’t produce such statements then he needs to publicly apologize to Christians for trying to smear the name of one of the greatest Christian evangelists who ever lived, an individual whom his own false prophet Muhammad doesn’t even come close to in terms of holiness, righteousness, purity, devotion, service etc.

However, there will be no need for Ally to respond since he basically agrees with our position, since here he virtually admits that Gentiles were not expected to keep the Law of Moses; only Jewish believers were required to do such. He also concedes the fact that these instructions do not mean that the Gentiles could not get circumcised, but that they were not required to do so.

Since Ally admits to all of these facts this means that he is aware that he is being quite deceptive and dishonest when he tries to make it sound as if Paul’s position concerning the Law in his own writings contradicts Luke’s portrayal of his attitude in the book of Acts. Or, perhaps he simply forgot what he had known and written earlier? Or Allah/Satan “made him forget”? Or Ally just abrogated it? Whatever the case, Ally knows full well that the blessed Apostle was opposing Jews who were insisting that Gentiles keep the Torah for the purpose of obtaining salvation and justification. Nor was Paul denying that he, as a Jewish believer, was expected to continue to obey the Law. His point was that doing so doesn’t get anyone saved or justified, since salvation and justification come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wasn’t even against the idea of Gentiles getting circumcised, provided that they knew such acts didn’t save or justify anyone before God.

With the foregoing in perspective, we want to personally thank Williams for publishing Ally’s booklet online for all to read, since this helps us establish that Ally is a very deceptive and inconsistent taqiyyist who doesn’t hesitate to use dishonest and inconsistent arguments in order to mislead people away from the truth of God. Yet these dawagandists need to wake up to reality by coming to the realization that every time they do use such tactics, there will be Christians whom God will sovereignly raise up (in fact, he already has and will continue to do so until Christ returns) to expose their lies and deceit for the glory of our risen Lord and eternal Savior, Jesus Christ:

“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6

Amen! Come Lord Jesus, come in order to magnify your name in all the earth which you have created for your glory!

For a more thorough response to Ally’s booklet we recommend the following rebuttals:

Combating Porkophobia 1, 2, 3

[First published: 6 August 2013]
[Last updated: 6 August 2013]